Meet Kieran McCarthy Fell

Hiking at Machu Picchu at dawn

Kieran hiking at Machu Picchu at dawn.

Arrangements Abroad has welcomed several new staff members in recent months. For this post, we’d like to introduce you to Kieran McCarthy Fell, who joined our Client Services team.

When did you start working at Arrangements Abroad, and what is your position here?

I started August 6, 2018, and I’ve loved every day so far! I’m a Client Services Coordinator.

What were you doing right before you started working for Arrangements Abroad? 

Panicking about when I would find a job! No, I had just graduated from grad school and come back from a week playing Irish music in the Catskills with friends.

What is your hometown?

Huntington, New York.

Kieran skiing in the Alps

Skiing for the first time ever, in the Austrian Alps! The bunny hill was at the top of Kitzsteinhorn.

Who would play you in a movie?

My boyfriend claims it would be Anna Kendrick. I’m okay with that. She’s spunky!

What is your favorite travel book?

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson.

City you most recommend to friends

There are so many amazing places for different interests! Some I’ve raved about are Stockholm, Krakow, Seattle, and Prague. And Alaska’s Glacier Bay area, though I know it’s not a city.

City you would drop everything to see

Of places I’ve been before, Vienna. It definitely has a hold on me. Of cities I haven’t gotten to see yet, I’d go to Istanbul or St. Petersburg in a heartbeat. Also, although they are not cities, I’d love to visit Georgia, Patagonia, and Mongolia. And Antarctica before it’s completely melted away.

What is your favorite thing about working at Arrangements Abroad?

I’m really enjoying the people I get to work with, coworkers and travelers alike. Everyone in the office has been so helpful and patient that I’m looking forward to the day I can help each of them in return. And our travelers are so passionate about seeing the world! That’s something I have great admiration for.

Kieran with flute at the Cliffs of Moher

Kieran with her traditional flute at the Cliffs of Moher.

Do you have any special skills?

Playing traditional Irish music, and I’ve recently discovered I do a pretty okay job of impersonating Janice from Friends.

Your most visited websites

Condé Nast, Facebook (sadly), and everything affiliated with Google (especially Gmail and Google Maps).

Something about you that surprises people.

I’m REALLY not a fan of butterflies! Also I’ve published a research paper.

Three things you can’t travel without 

Some variety of photo-taking device, a list of useful words and phrases in the local language, and something to read on the way.

Number of trips traveled on

None for AA yet, though hopefully someday! So far, I’ve traveled to 17 countries (some more than once), 43 states (some more than once) and Puerto Rico; and the rest of the world is on my bucket list!

A Taste of Summer

Summer house

Baltic Red Houses

June 21st marks the official first day of summer! In addition to traveling on some of Arrangements Abroad’s trips to destinations including the Baltic, staff members are taking vacations to places near and far. Here’s a roundup of some of the locations they’ll explore this summer.

“I’m going to Ecuador for two weeks with my son. The trip will be half business and half vacation.” –-Ute Keyes, Director, Tour Operations & Development 

Morning on the Lost Coast, photo by Wendy Seltzer

Morning on the Lost Coast, photo by Wendy Seltzer

“I’m taking an extended camping trip from San Francisco to Seattle and Lost Coast in between.” –Ethan Long, Client Services Outreach Coordinator

“I am planning to go to Oregon and Los Angeles in July. Oregon is very beautiful in the summer, but I’m most excited to go hiking and support the local businesses in the Columbia Gorge, which is recovering from a devastating wildfire.” –Amy Wilson, Client Services Associate 

“I am going to Montana to ride horses on a dude ranch!”  –Olivia Post, Operations Manager

Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia

“I’m traveling to the Republic of Georgia. Will stay in Tbilisi and do some day trips out of the city.” –Christine Echeverri, Client Services Associate 

“For personal travel, I will be going to Maine in August for the first time, to visit Acadia National Park with my family. At the end of this month I am doing a work trip accompanying a small group to Austria. One of the things we are doing is attending a day of performances at Grafenegg.  Should be interesting!” –Erin Balderrama, Vice President, Tour Operations 

Where would you like to travel this summer? For additional information about Arrangements Abroad’s upcoming tours, please visit our website.

 

Venice Restaurant Recommendations

abc-quadri

Quadri

La Serenissima is known for its five-star dining. If you are traveling to Venice, you may wish to enjoy a meal at leisure at one of these restaurants, many of which serve traditional Venetian cuisine.

Do Forni
San Marco, 468
This trattoria has two rooms. The first has rustic and elegant
furniture, reminiscent of an ancient Venetian tavern. The other,
called “Orient Express,” has deluxe furniture and an intimate
atmosphere that resembles the dining car of the famous train
connecting Venice to Istanbul and Paris

Antica Trattoria “da FIORE” (Michelin starred)
San Marco, 3461 Calle delle Botteghe
This lovely and traditional place, which has existed since 1871,
has a family feel. Once an old Venetian tavern, Da Fiore has
become one of the city’s most famous restaurants. It offers highquality
cuisine, which is served in an elegant and refined rooms.
(Closed on Sundays and Mondays)

Quadri (Michelin starred)
Piazza San Marco, 121
Located directly above Gran Caffè Quadri, the restaurant boasts
a magnificent view of St. Mark’s Square. The atmosphere in the
dining room is elegant yet relaxed. The menu, created by chef
Massimiliano Alajmo of Le Calandre, is based on contemporary
interpretations of traditional Italian dishes. (Open daily)

Acqua Pazza
San Marco 3808 – 30124
Specializing in Amalfi cuisine, this restaurant it known for
mouthwatering pasta and Neapolitan pizza. (Closed Monday)

Corte Sconta
Castello, 3886 Calle del Pestrin
The restaurant serves seasonal products in a space more geared
to function than to form. Try the antipasti, from clams with ginger
to anchovies in marinade. Corte Sconta also has a tasting menu
with first courses such as gnocchetti with ganasséte of angler
fish and fresh peas, and meat and fish courses such as baby red
mullet. (Closed on Sundays and Mondays)

Da Ivo
Ramo dei Fuseri, 1809
Considered one of Italy’s historic places, Da Ivo was opened in
1976 by founder, Ivo Natali. Located a short walk from Piazza
San Marco, the restaurant offers superb cuisine in a refined
atmosphere. (Closed on Sundays)

Harry’s Bar (very expensive)
Calle Vallaresso
The Italian Ministry for Cultural Affairs declared this famous
restaurant and bar a national landmark in 2001. (Open daily)

Cip’s Club
Isola della Giudecca 10, 3013
The restaurant enjoys a unique panorama of St. Mark’s
Square. Cip’s Club has an inside room decorated with original
paintings, watercolors, and prints celebrating its view, one of
the best in Venice. Outside, the spacious wooden terrace is
decorated like the deck of a private yacht.

Hostaria da Franz
Sant’Antonin, 5801 – Castello
This historic establishment is one of the best seafood
restaurants in town. Located in the oldest part of Venice,
close to the Arsenale, it seats only 40 people in an intimate
atmosphere. Specialties include high-quality fish, homemade
desserts, and ice creams.(Closed on Tuesdays)

Trattoria Antiche Carampane

Trattoria Antiche Carampane, photo by Evalita on the go

Trattoria Antiche Carampane
San Polo, 1911 (30 minutes on foot from Saint Mark’s Square)
In the heart of Venice, this renowned restaurant serves
distinguished Venetian cuisine in a familial setting. The
trattoria’s warm ambience and enticing menu create a
truly memorable dining experience. (Closed on Sundays
and Mondays)

Al Covo
Castello, 3968
This small, elegant restaurant behind Riva degli Schiavoni is
known for fresh vegetables, game, and fish (with accompanying
quality certificates). (Closed Wednesdays and Thursdays; open
other days from 12:45 to 2:00 p.m. and from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m.)

All’Altanella
Calle delle Erbe, 268
On the Island of Giudecca, this trattoria specializes in Venetian
cuisine such as spaghetti alla seppia or risotto with fish. Credit
cards are not accepted. (Closed on Sundays and Mondays)

Osteria ai Artisti
Dorsoduro1169a, Fondamenta della Toletta (30 minutes on foot
from Saint Mark’s Square)
This delightful Osteria, whose Japanese chef creates beautiful
dishes, is located between Campo san Barnaba and the
Accademia. (Closed on Sundays)

Osteria da Alberto
Calle Giacinto Gallina, Cannaregio 5401 (30 minutes on foot from
Saint Mark’s Square)
Located near the beautiful Miracoli Church, this is a good place
to come if you’re in a hurry and want a quick bite for lunch. The
counter is stocked with fried sardines, excellent meatballs,
shrimp, and cuttlefish. If you want to sit down, options include
pasta, risottos, and the famous baccalà with polenta.
(Closed on Sundays)

Osteria Orto dei Mori
Sestiere Cannaregio, 3386 (45 minutes on foot from Saint
Mark’s Square)
On the way to the Ghetto, this wonderful little restaurant close to
Tintoretto’s house serves typical Mediterranean cuisine.
(Closed on Tuesdays)

Enoteca al Bancogiro
San Polo 122, Campo San Giacometto
This enoteca, which is on the site of one Venice’s earliest trading
banks, has kept the original institution’s name. Have a glass of
wine at the bar, or sit at one of the tables outside or in the cozy
room on the first floor. Specialties include fish and excellent meat
plates. (Closed on Mondays)

Alla Madonna
San Polo 594, Calle de la Madonna
This large and informal fish restaurant near Rialto is tried,
trusted, and well loved. Always crowded, it maintains good
levels of service. (Closed on Wednesdays)

Antiche Carampane
Osteria Oliva Sestriere Castello 3417
Oliva Nera serves traditional Venetian cuisine in a friendly
family-owned atmosphere.

Alle Testiere
Calle del Mondo, Novo Castello, 5801
In the heart of Venice between Rialto and St. Mark’s Square,
this intimate restaurant honors the tradition of the city’s typical
seafood. The chef also brings an innovative touch to the menu
with dishes created with fantasy and artistic skill. Two seating
available: 7.30 p.m. and 9. 30 p.m.
(Closed on Sundays and Mondays)

Aciugheta
Campo San Filippo e Giacomo
This well-known pizzeria also has an excellent selection of
wines. A variety of “cicheti” (bite-sized snacks and appetizers
such as meatballs, small stuffed peppers, and freshly baked
pizzette with anchovies) can be ordered at the counter.
(Open daily.)

aciugheta-20.00-17

Aciugheta

Florence Restaurant Recommendations

Enoteca Pinchiorri

Enoteca Pinchiorri

The city of Florence is home to a wide range of excellent places to eat, from casual pizzerias to fancy seafood restaurants. Here are a few of our favorites.

Enoteca Pinchiorri (three Michelin stars)
Via Ghibellina, 87, 50122
This Italian restaurant serves haute cuisine and excellent wines
in a number of dining rooms, including a historic room. (Closed
Sundays and Mondays)

Fishing Lab Alle Murate
16R Via del Proconsolo
Enjoy innovative seafood dishes in an amazing historic building
with frescoes from the 1300s. (Open daily)

Fuor d’Acqua
Via Pisana, 37r, 50143
Located an old chariot warehouse, this elegant restaurant
specializes in fresh seafood. (Closed Sundays)

Cibreo
Via Andrea del Verrocchio, 5R, 50122
Open since 1979, Cibreo serves inventive dishes in a fashionable
setting. (Closed Sundays and Mondays)

Mamma Gina
Borgo S. Jacopo, 37/R, 50125
This typical trattoria serves reasonably priced soups, pastas,
meats, and wine. (Closed Sundays)

Taverna del Bronzino
Via delle Ruote, 27/r
This hidden gem serves superb Italian cuisine in what was once a
16th-century artist’s studio. (Closed Sundays)

florence-restaurants-cammillo-trattoria-banner

Trattoria Cammillo, photo by Andrew Harper

Trattoria Cammillo
Borgo S. Jacopo, 57/r
Near the Ponte Vecchio, this typical Florentine trattoria specializes
in classic Italian dishes. (Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

Il Latini
Via dei Palchetti, 6R, 50123
This fun but crowded restaurant serves Tuscan cuisine in a
communal seating. (Closed Mondays)

Buca Lapi
Via del Trebbio, 1r, 50123
Among the oldest eateries in Florence, Buca Lapi is famous
for its steaks. (Closed Sundays)

Omero (at Pian dei Giullari on the hill, near Arcetri)
Via del Pian dei Giullari, 47, 50125
This trattoria with lovely views is known for its excellent
Tuscan food. (Closed Tuesdays)

Buca Mario
Piazza Degli Ottaviani 16R, 50123
In the heart of Florence since 1886, this restaurant serves
traditional Florentine cuisine. (Open daily)

Pandemonio
Via del Leone 50R, 50124
This trattoria in the San Frediano quarter has served authentic
Tuscan dishes since 1992. (Closed Sundays)

La Giostra
Borgo Pinti 10R, 50121
Prince Albero d’Asburgo founded this romantic restaurant
in 1992. (Open daily, but not for lunch on Saturdays and
Sundays)

La Cucina del Garga
Via San Zanobi 33R, 50129Chef Alessandro founded this
excellent restaurant, which serves sublime recipes inspired by his
father. (Closed Sundays)

Il Guscio, Via dell’Orto (in the San Frediano quarter)
Via dell’Orto, 49, 50124
Popular with locals, Il Guscio has been run by the same family
since the 1980s. (Closed Sundays)

Osteria de_ Benci

Osteria de’ Benci, Via de’ Benci

Osteria de’ Benci, Via de’ Benci (near Santa Croce)
Borgo Santa Croce, 31r, 50122
Specials at this small Osteria include Spaghetti dell’Ubbriaccone
(drunken spaghetti). (Open daily)

Fiaschetteria Nuvoli
Piazza dell’Olio, 15/r, 50123
This casual, inexpensive restaurant near the Duomo serves
Tuscan specialties. (Open daily)

Trattoria del Carmine
Piazza del Carmine, 18R
In the San Frediano quarter, this trattoria is a local favorite.

Trattoria Sostanza
Via del Porcellana, 25/R, 50123
This simple but excellent restaurant is famous for its butter
chicken. (Closed Sundays)

Enoteca Pitti Gola
Piazza Pitti 16, 50125
In front of the Pitti Palace, this wine bar serves fresh pastas and
other local dishes.

I Tredici Gobbi
Via del Porcellana, 9R
Located in a historic building, this trattoria specializes in genuine
Tuscan cuisine. (Open daily)

Cestello Ristoclub
Piazza di Cestello 8, 50124
This upscale restaurant offers some of the best seafood in
Florence. (Open daily)

Ristorante Sabatini
Via Panzani, 9r, 50123
Almost 100 years old, this expensive restaurant serves traditional
dishes. (Open daily)

Osteria dei Pazzi
Via dei Lavatoi 1R, Corner Via Verdi, 50122
This charming local spot prepares delicious homemade food.
(Closed Mondays.)

Il Pizzaiuolo
Via dei Macci, 113r, 50122
This popular pizza and pasta place is just steps from the
Sant’Ambrogio Market. (Closed Sundays)

Cucina Torcicoda
Via Torta 5R, 50122
This osteria, pizzeria and restaurant is known for both steak
and pizza. (Open daily)
MARKETS:

Be sure to check out Sant’Ambrogio Market (Piazza Lorenzo
Ghiberti, 50122; closed Sunday). Also, at the Mercato Central
(Via dell’Ariento, 50123; http://www.mercatocentrale.it/), there
are individual food stalls on the second floor.

9 Reasons to Cruise the Volga

russia_header_cf

The largest country in the world, Russia occupies one-seventh of the earth’s landmass and spans eight time zones. Join Arrangements Abroad on a summer river cruise aboard Volga Dream (June 2 – 12, 2018) to explore some of the cities, villages, and landmarks of this vast nation, including ancient towns where few Americans have set foot. Here are our top nine reasons to join this cruise on the Volga River.

hermitage1. Amazing art. Russia is home to some of the world’s finest art institutions including the Hermitage, which we will see before opening hours. At the Hermitage, we will also enjoy an exclusive after-hours visit with a champagne reception and live classical music.

kizhy

 

2. Kizhi Island. Located near the center of Lake Onega, this stunning island is home to two intricate 18th-century wooden churches as well as an octagonal clock tower. Learn more about this UNESCO World Heritage Site and its unusual architecture.

3. Magical music. At the five-domed Church of the Transfiguration in Uglich, we will attend an a cappella concert and admire the glittering iconostasis surrounding the singers.

Dumplings with meat or cabbage and mushroom or cheese seasoned fried bacon

 

4. Russian hospitality. In the village of Svirstroy, we will be welcomed at a resident’s home for tea with jam and pirozkhi (local pies). Learn about Russian tradition and village lifestyle from our hosts.

 

5. White Nights. During midsummer (from May to late July), the night skies remain luminous in northern latitudes. Experience the magic of St. Petersburg, during this period of the White Nights, when the evening sky never darkens.

6. Glorious gardens. Visit sumptuous Catherine Palace to see the exquisite Amber Room, and enjoy a summer stroll in the formal gardens. At Peterhof, try to outwit the “trick” fountains that Peter the Great installed in the lower gardens.

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7. Language lessons. One of the five most spoken languages in the world, Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet instead of Latin. Take advantage of a free class aboard Volga Dream to learn a little about this beautiful language. Get a head start on some basic phrases here: https://youtu.be/jtMP-ucXETo.

Matryoshka - Russian nesting doll on white

 

8. Take-home treasures. Matryoshka (Russian nesting dolls), many of which are handcrafted, come in various shapes and sizes and are a delightful memento. Another popular souvenir is Gzhel, blue and white ceramics made in a village southeast of Moscow.

 

9. The magnificent Moscow Metro. The city’s subway stations, some of which resemble subterranean art museums, are known as the “People’s Palaces.” Discover their grandeur during an optional prelude program. You may also wish to stroll by the Metropole Hotel, inspiration for the best-selling novel, A Gentleman in Moscow.

To find out more about our “Waterways of the Tsars” cruise, please contact Christine Echeverri, Client Services Associate, at 212-514-8921 or 1-800-221-1944, or by email at christineE@arrangementsabroad.com 

Click here to download brochure

Other trips you may enjoy:

Enchanting Douro River:
Round-trip Porto Aboard AmaVida
April 16 to 24, 2018

Cruise rates from $5,999
Waitlist Only

Sailing the Baltic’s Amber Coast Aboard Sea Cloud II 
June 29 to July 11, 2018

Land/cruise rates from $8,999
Limited Availability

In the Wake of the Vikings
Aboard Sea Cloud II 
July 10 to 21, 2018

Cruise rates from $7,999

Sicily by Sail
Valletta to Malta Aboard Sea Cloud
October 1 to 9, 2018
Cruise rates from $8,999
Waitlist Only

Adriatic Odyssey
Venice to Valletta Aboard Sea Cloud
October 11 to 21, 2018

Cruise rates from $7,999

A Journey into Antiquity
Egypt & The Nile
December 26, 2018 to January 7, 2019

Land/cruise rates from $T.B.A.

Sea Cloud: A Ship with a Story, a Secret, and a Song

SeaCloud_Ship_17

Sea Cloud has been called “a ship with a soul.” More than that, she is a ship with a story, a secret, and a song.

SeaCloud_SailingCrew_23Her story has many chapters. The first begins in 1931, when Sea Cloud was built (as the Hussar V) for Edward F. Hutton, a stockbroker and expert yachtsman, and his wife, Marjorie Merriweather Post. At a cost of over a million dollars—more than $15 million in today’s money—this four-masted windjammer was bigger and more spectacular than similar yachts owned by Morgans and Vanderbilts. Measuring 316 feet from bow to stern and with 55,000 feet of sail, Sea Cloud was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest private sailing yacht in the world.

Befitting a ship designed for an experienced sailor, Sea Cloud was exceptionally seaworthy. Her steel hull was so strong and moved so steadily that the yacht later served as a battleship during World War II.

SeaCloud_CatA_Cab2_01While E.F. was responsible for designing Sea Cloud’s exterior, Marjorie took care of the ship’s interior. “Luxurious” does not do it justice. Marjorie’s stateroom, decorated à la Louis XVI, was so opulent that when Queen Maud of Norway glimpsed it, she gasped, “You live like a queen, don’t you?”

Indeed, the queen of this “queen of the seas” has her own fascinating story. Marjorie, the only child of C.W. Post, founder of the Postum Cereal Company, had been groomed by her father as a business leader since the age of 10, when she began attending company board meetings. When C.W. passed away in 1914, Marjorie, then 27, took over. Through a series of canny mergers, she transformed Postum into General Foods, the company behind Jell-O, Maxwell House, Birdseye, and other household names.

Sea Cloud 15.-25.August 2010Celebrated for her glamour and style, Marjorie was also renowned for her philanthropy; she gave generous, often anonymous gifts to the Red Cross, Boy Scouts, and other favorite charities. Still, the Huttons worried that their wealth could attract the wrong attention. Thus Marjorie, E.F., and their only child Dina (who later became the movie star Dina Merrill) spent much of the Depression safe in relative isolation aboard Sea Cloud, sailing the world. In 1935 E.F. and Marjorie divorced, and 20 years later, Sea Cloud was sold to Rafael Trujillo, the dictator of the Dominican Republic, who renamed it the Angelita after his daughter.

Therein lies Sea Cloud’s secret: In 1961, Trujillo was assassinated, and his son Ramfis tried to spirit his father’s body away to Europe by hiding it in the ship’s smoking room, along with a rumored $5 million in cash. En route, the ship was intercepted by a Dominican gunboat and forced to turn back. (The smoking room where the body was hidden no longer exists; it was removed to make way for the newer staterooms when Sea Cloud was remodeled.)

And Sea Cloud’s song? If you have ever been lucky enough to sail with the talented Tom Hook aboard as cruise director, you’ve probably heard him perform the classic rock song, “Ripple.” What could be a more fitting soundtrack for a moonlit night aboard this elegant lady?

“Ripple in still water / When there is no pebble tossed / Nor wind to blow…”

To find out more about upcoming cruises aboard Sea Cloud, visit Arrangements Abroad’s website or call us at 212-514-8921

SeaCloud_Ship_15

 

Portugal Restaurant Recommendations

panorama of beautiful Porto with traditional boats. PortugalPortugal is known for its five-star cuisine. You may wish to enjoy a meal at leisure at one of these restaurants, which specialize in everything from Portuguese delicacies to Asian fusion.

Lisbon

100 ManeirasRua do Teixeira 35, 1200-459

This intimate eatery serve a nine-course tasting menu of seasonal Portuguese dishes

JNCQUOIAv. da Liberdade 182-184

This fashionable spot offers “timeless artisan food with clever twists”

Olivier Avenida, Rua Júlio César Machado 7

Noted chef Olivier da Costa’s restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere

Yakuza (sushi), Rua da Escola Politécnica 231

Another Olivier da Costa restaurant, Yakuza specializes in sushi, sashimi, and East-West fusion cuisine

Loco (one Michelin star), Rua dos Navegantes 53-B

Alexandre Silva, who won the first Top Chef de Portugal competition, offers two enticing tasting menus

Belcanto (two Michelin stars), Largo de São Carlos 10

In the heart of historic Lisbon, this sophisticated restaurant serves “revisited Portuguese cuisine”

Cervejaria Liberdade, Tivoli Avenida Liberdade

This elegant restaurant specializes in fresh seafood sourced from the Portuguese coastline

GambrinusRua das Portas de Santo Antão 23

This classic spot offers superb seafood and other local specialties in a comfortable setting

Darwin’s CafeAv. de Brasília Ala B

Known for its lovely views of the Tagus River, Darwin’s Cafe serves modern European cuisine

Tapisco, Rua Dom Pedro V 80

Created by chef Henrique Sá Pessoa, cozy Tapisco celebrates both Spanish and Portuguese gastronomy

Porto

Antiqvvm (one Michelin star)Rua de Entre-Quintas 220

Overlooking the Douro River, this lovely restaurant is known for its excellent tasting menu

Cantinho do AvillezRua Mouzinho da Silveira, 166 R/C

This unpretentious place serves exceptional Portuguese cuisine “inspired and influenced by travel”

Cafeína, Rua do Padrão 100

Among Porto’s best restaurants, elegant Cafeína specializes in contemporary European creations

TerraRua do Padrão 103

Split into two floors, Terra is known for top-quality Mediterranean food (upstairs) and sushi (downstairs)

FlowRua da Conceição 63

This relaxed restaurant and bar dishes up Mediterranean specialities, Portuguese favorites, and sushi

OficinaRua de Miguel Bombarda 282

Art and gastronomy mix at Oficina, which serves innovative cuisine in a revamped auto repair shop

For a full list of restaurants in Portugal that have been awarded Michelin stars: http://portugalconfidential.com/2018-michelin-star-restaurants-portugal/

 

Explore Europe in a whole new way

Bright windmills (1)

This September, Arrangements Abroad offers its very first cruise by luxury barge — a unique exploration of Belgium and Holland. Experience the Low Countries with just 30 fellow travelers on this intimate voyage. Here are nine wonderful reasons to sign up.

Magnifique II1. A seven-night stay aboard Magnifique II.This comfortable barge features a salon, restaurant, bar, and lounge, where you can mingle with fellow passengers from our small group. Relax on the covered sun deck, or watch the passing scenery through large picture windows. Complimentary bicycles are available to use ashore.

2. Exceptional value! Rates start at just $3,995 per person, double occupancy, and include a full program of lectures and excursions as well as airport/pier transfers, onboard meals, beer and wine at dinners, daily guided or self-guided bike tours, and all gratuities aboard and ashore.

3. Lecturer Jim Salzman, visiting professor of environmental law at Harvard University. Jim is one of the world’s leading experts on drinking water, a topic that we don’t often think about but is crucial to human survival. The first 20 people to sign up for the cruise will receive a complimentary copy of his book, Drinking Water: A History.

Bruges (1)

4. Beautiful Bruges, a UNESCO-listed city brimming with sublime architecture and art. Go inside a historic church to see the only sculpture by Michelangelo in the Low Countries (and the only one to leave Italy during his lifetime), or admire the superb collection of Hans Memling paintings in the Hospital of St. John.

5. The windmills of Kinderdijk. These 19 neatly aligned windmills have earned this historic village a UNESCO listing. After your visit, stop at a nearby farm for a specially arranged lunch featuring Dutch specialties.

Cyclists pass group of authentic windmills at Kinderdijk UNESCO World Heritage Site, dykes and polder, Holland, The Netherlands

Photo by Tim Graham

6. A tour of the Antwerp City Brewery, in operation for more than 180 years. Learn about the brewing process through an interactive exhibit, followed by a sampling of classic beers and ales, each served in its own unique glass.

7. The Gouda Cheese Market. Chat with vendors and sample their wares at this world-renowned market. This video offers a preview of what your experience will be like.

8. Optional bike tours. Take advantage of the gentle, even terrain of the Low Countries as you pedal through beautiful scenery and along picturesque canals.

9. Het Loo Palace. The former summer residence of the Dutch royal family offers magnificent works of art and symmetrical Baroque gardens, delightful for leisurely strolling.

For details about this enchanting voyage contact Client Services Associate Katie Schorr at the number below or at katie@arrangementsabroad.com. Download a brochure here.

Meet Elizabeth Viliani

Elizabeth V in Asolo

Elizabeth Viliani at Villa Cipriani in Asolo, Italy

Elizabeth Viliani, Manager, Operations, one of the newest staff members at Arrangements Abroad, says her love of travel was forever fused when she landed a sales job with CIGA Hotels, the Italian luxury hotel company. When CIGA was acquired by Starwood Hotels, Elizabeth added even more amazing properties—including a tented desert resort outside Dubai and a Frank Gehry masterpiece in Rioja, Spain—to her portfolio. When she’s not traveling, you can find Elizabeth walking her dog in Central Park, reading mystery novels, watching classic films, or searching flea markets for vintage jewelry.

Where are you from originally?

Elizabeth eating lasagna in Florence

Elizabeth eating lasagna in Florence, Italy

I grew up in South Jersey near Philly and had a double major in psychology and sociology at Drew University. After college, I moved to New York City, feel in love with the urban lifestyle and have been here ever since. My first job right out of college was at a company placing advertising in the Yellow Pages. This was definitely not for me so when I I had the opportunity to work for a small company representing Italian hotels, I jumped at the chance. I fell in love with travel AND Italy. My next job landed me a sales job at the iconic Italian luxury hotel company CIGA (where I met my Italian husband while on a sales call). Over the next years, a series of acquisitions led to my job at Starwood Hotels where I managed a sales territory selling their luxury brands.

So far, what do you enjoy most about working at Arrangements Abroad?

The small scope of the office. It’s not a huge corporate setting. It isn’t bureaucratic. I enjoy working on the itineraries and learning about new places, and I like the vendor visits. Coming from a corporate environment, it is a nice change. Also, people are interested in cultural travel and not just luxury.

Which city do you most often recommend that your friends visit?

Elizabeth Viliani at Savoy Hotel in London

Elizabeth having tea at the Savoy Hotel in London

There are so many wonderful ones! I guess my two favorite ones to visit are London and Rome. In London, there is a ton to do and great visits outside of the city. Rome has so much history and so many facets. There are hidden components to it even after many visits. I’ve been to Rome at least 15 times.

Which destination would you drop everything to see?

Maybe Peru. I want to see Machu Picchu and Cusco and experience that culture. It sounds fascinating to me.

Do you have any special skills?

I have a good eye for vintage jewelry and know a lot about the history of it. I find jewelry at flea markets and antique shops. I wear something different almost every day.

Which websites do you visit the most?

LinkedIn for connecting to people professionally, eBay for vintage jewelry, and Google for research. I also listen to NPR.

What is something about you that surprises people?

Both sides of my parents’ families were here before the Revolutionary War. Also, both sets of my grandparents are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

What are three things you can’t travel without?

A warm shawl, sunglasses, and my iPhone.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Elizabeth V Central Park

Elizabeth in Central Park

I have a lovely dog, Pluto. One of my favorite things to do is walk him in Central Park. You meet some very interesting people in the park when you have a dog!

New Faces in Familiar Places

Claudia_CaminoAs more guests sign up for our cultural cruises and small-group land programs, we’ve invited four new Tour Directors to join our team. We’re delighted to introduce them here.

TOM ERNSTING

TomErstingTom joined Arrangements Abroad after 35 years in hospitality that included global positions with Hilton, Marriott, and Mandarin Oriental. He will be accompanying our April “Dutch & Flemish Landscapes” and June “Waterways of the Tsars” cruises. Tom is all about authentic local experiences. Where can you find the tastiest Indonesian food in Amsterdam? Which St. Petersburg banyas (Russian bathhouses) are female-friendly? Just ask Tom!

 

 

 

ANTONELLA MIRO

AntonellaMiro2Born and raised in Belgium and a longtime resident of London, Antonella speaks four languages and is deeply involved in all aspects of philanthropy. She travels often to Italy, where she has family, and Colombia, where she founded an educational program and participates in various humanitarian projects. Having worked at Sotheby’s for 14 years, she also knows about antiques. Antonella looks forward to welcoming guests on our “Hidden Gems of Portugal & Spain” program this September.

JOHN FRICK

JohnFrickWith 25 years of travel experience, John has led group tours on all seven continents, and is eager to experience the legendary Sea Cloud during our October “Adriatic Odyssey” program. John is also an astronomy buff who can tell you about the myths and legends associated with the Orionids, a meteor shower that will be taking place during this cruise.

 

TESSA MADDEN PIERRE

TessaTessa is from the United Kingdom but for 12 years called France her home, living in Provence, Brittany, and on the Côte d’Azur. At 19, she was bitten by the travel bug when she took off to explore Asia. She started leading group land programs and small-ship cruises, eventually traveling to all seven continents and nearly every corner of Europe. With 20 years in the business, she loves sharing her passion for travel with others.

For more information about these upcoming departures, click below:
Dutch & Flemish Landscapes
Aboard AmaPrima
April 19–27, 2017

Waterways of the Tsars: Moscow to
St. Petersburg Aboard Volga Dream
June 8–17, 2017

Hidden Gems of Portugal & Spain
Alentejo & Extremadura
September 20–30, 2017

Adriatic Odyssey: Venice to Valletta
Aboard Sea Cloud
October 15–24, 2017

Photos: Camino trail with tour director Claudia Cumbo and traveler (top); Tom Ernsting (upper left); Antonella Miro in Lake Geneva, Vevey, Switzerland (upper right); John Frick at the Krak des Chevaliers, Syria (bottom left); and Tessa Madden Pierre on Sea Cloud II (bottom right).